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February 2019 Newsletter

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In This Issue

Welcome from the Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

Welcome to another edition of our newsletter.

In this newsletter, you can find out more about our newest committee member, Louise Gall from Moree. Louise brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge and we are pleased to have her join our team.

We produce a variety of documents that feature images of the communities and businesses in our region. This is a unique opportunity to promote our communities and businesses to others in our region and beyond. If you have photos that you feel would be suitable for us to use in these documents, I encourage you to provide them to us and further details are below.

The recent announcement from the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities that they will be developing a strategy for the Newell Highway is positive recognition of the backbone this highway is for regional Australia’s freight.  I was pleased to hear that Mayor for Moree Plains Shire, Katrina Humphries will be co-leading the community consultations for this important project. Specific dates for the workshops are yet to be announced, so stay tuned for further details once they are available.

Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by the numerous fires in our region, where homes and businesses have been lost to these incredibly powerful fires. Our firefighters, and community members have done incredibly in the face of such a formidable challenge.


Russell Stewart

Assistance for Bushfire Affected Communities

As at 7am this morning there were 28 fires burning across New South Wales, including four significant fires in our region, Tingha Plateau (near Tingha and Gilgai), Bruxner Highway (near Tabulam), Wallangarra (north of Tenterfield) and Linton (east of Barraba). The heroic efforts of Rural Fire Service volunteers with the support of their communities have continued for several days. The milder conditions of the last couple of days have allowed the Rural Fire Service to perform back-burns to try and contain these fires.

If your life is at risk or you notice an unattended fire, call Triple Zero (000) immediately. Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737. For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.com. Roads may be closed without warning.

Disaster assistance has been made available for Armidale, Inverell, Kyogle and Tenterfield communities affected by the bushfires that commenced from February 11 onwards through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). Assistance measures available include:

  • help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged;
  • support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets;
  • concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations;
  • freight subsidies for primary producers; and
  • grants to eligible non-profit organisations.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on ‪1800 018 444. To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on ‪1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au

Local Land Services veterinary officers and biosecurity staff are on the ground assisting communities affected by bush fires. Landholders who need assistance with emergency fodder, livestock or domestic animal assessment should call the Ag and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647. Financial help is also available to transport stock to other properties due to fences or feed being burnt out. For livestock related assistance, call the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on ‪1800 678 593.

For wildlife rescue call WIRES on 1300 094 737. All wildlife that is sick or injured needs to be assessed by a vet before coming into WIRES care. It is critical to get sick and injured wildlife vet treatment as quickly as possible. Do not approach snakes, monitor lizards (goannas), bats (flying-foxes or microbats), large macropods (kangaroos or wallabies) or raptors (eagles, falcons or hawks). These animals require specialist handling and MUST be rescued by trained wildlife rescuers. For further information, visit the WIRES website.

Introducing Louise Gall – Our Newest Committee Member

Louise is the newest member of our Committee, joining in November last year. Since graduating from University in 1989, Lou has been privileged to work with many wonderful people, who have taught her so much. With Rhone Poulenc Rural, she travelled all over Australia while broadening her skills base. Lou is currently a Project Officer with the Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association.

Although having a great time living the high life in both Sydney and Melbourne, she is a country girl at heart and is happy to be back home. Like so many other professional women, Lou choose to work in regional Australia. Her work with regional business allows her to help them set business direction and effectively plan their communication strategies to target their key markets. There is so much potential for regional businesses. Lou is also actively involved in facilitating community events and responses to poor public and political decision making.

Do You Have Photos of Our Region?

We’re overhauling our website and as part of that project, we’re on the hunt for photos from around the New England / North West region. Any images provided would be used with a mention or link back to your business or the photographer.

Being able to showcase the region through these images allows us to do more of what we do, like attract government funding to the region, participate in projects, assist skilled migrants with visas and growing the region overall. Last year we helped to attract over $20 Million in grant funding to the region and this year we have our sights set on attracting more. This is the funding that helps grow the region, our businesses, our communities.

What types of images are we looking for? Anything that showcases what the region has to offer. Landscapes, people (requires permission), events, landmarks, your business, even yourself.

Where will the images be used? On the Regional Development Australia Northern Inland website, social media, brochures, the investment prospectus, other types of media as needs arise. We will credit you / your business and link through to your business website or social media where possible.

How to submit your images? Please send them through to tgilleland@rdani.org.au or if the images are too big for email go to http://bit.ly/2WYTRac and fill out the form, upload your images and press submit.  Please note: Submitting your images doesn't guarantee that they will be used. It may be some time before images are used publicly.

Strategic Foresight for Regional Australia

Recently the CSIRO released the Strategic Foresight for Regional Australia publication with the results of a study that was undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. Through consultation with a wide range of regional development stakeholders from academia, the community, industry and across all levels of government, the document considers multiple potential scenarios, detailing what it could be like to live, work and invest in regional Australia in 30 years.

The report identifies five megatrends that have driven change in the past and are expected to continue in the future, being:

  • Defeating Distance
  • Global Exposure
  • Diverging Places
  • New Economies
  • Environment as Risk

Utilising the two key drivers of these five megatrends, technological progress and connectivity, and economic diversity and human capital, they developed four scenarios for the future of regional Australia:

  • Global Niche
  • Fast and Flexible
  • Natural Advantage
  • Holding Ground

While the publication highlights that one suite of policy settings or interventions is unlikely to fit all regions, it proposes a set of eight key messages for decision-makers that can be applied broadly. These messages focus on enabling or securing future benefits and opportunities for regions, given the influence of the megatrends and future realities in the four scenarios. The key messages intended to encourage further deliberation among the stakeholders involved in the future of our regions were:

  • Tailoring policies to regional differences
  • Enhancing planning and foresight capability for regions
  • Investing in human capital and adaptive capacity of business and communities
  • Investing in connectivity and infrastructure
  • Institutional reform for development
  • Managing risk
  • Supporting collaboration within and beyond regions
  • Investing in inclusion and liveability outcomes

The full report is available publicly in the CSIRO’s Research Publications Repository

Newell Highway Study

The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities is developing a Newell Highway Strategy in consultation with the NSW Government and key stakeholders to provide a comprehensive picture of the highway’s current performance and future challenges. This strategy will focus on the relationship between the Newell Highway and Inland Rail in delivering efficient outcomes in the movement of regional freight and also the challenges such as road safety and flooding events. This strategy will be used to inform the investment decision of both Federal and State Governments.

Michael McCormack, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, states that community, local government and industry involvement will be central to the strategy, ensuring the Government proceeds based on the best transport and economic data and a thorough understanding of communities and business needs and expectations. Moree Plains Shire Mayor, Katrina Humphries will head the community consultation along with Bland Shire Councillor Tony Lord, to encourage locals to get involved and have their say. A number of workshops will be held along the corridor at different locations so that communities can inform outcomes and the recommendations in the strategy.

Further details about the Newell Highway Corridor Strategy can be found on the Department’s website.

New Interactive Job Vacancy Tool

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has developed a new interactive Regional Jobs Vacancy Map that utilises data to help job seekers and decision makers gain a better understanding of the job market across Australia. By utilising data from the monthly Federal Government’s Internet Vacancy Index, which calculates the number new online job advertisements, the tool provides information on the number of job vacancies and their categories.

The online tool highlights that there is a demand for workers in the Northern Inland region, with 544 listed vacancies as of December 2018. Furthermore, it also demonstrates that these jobs are predominantly in professional fields, with over a quarter of the advertised positions. However, as shown in our research for the Skills for the Future report, reliance on online advertising for vacancy statistics can provide an incorrect reflection of actual vacancy numbers. In reality, job vacancy numbers are actually higher as many employers, particularly small businesses, utilise other forms of advertising such as word-of-mouth and newspapers. Despite this, these figures can be a useful guide to analyse trends and identify skill shortages in specific regions.

Australia’s Largest Hybrid Power Project

The construction of the $220 Million Sapphire Solar Farm is due to commence in the quarter of this year. Co-located with the Sapphire Wind Farm, the development will become the largest hybrid renewable energy project in Australia. The 200MW hybrid solar and battery power facility will generate enough power for 68,000 average Australian homes a year. It will also allow 170MW of merchant wind generation from the Sapphire Wind Farm to also be stored and dispatched with solar energy.

The Sapphire Wind Farm is the largest windfarm in New South Wales, and generates over 270MW from 75 turbines, enough power for 115,000 homes. With over $7.4m of pledges from community members interested in investing in 2017-18, CWP and Partners Group are opening the Sapphire Wind Farm for community co-investment. This is a first-come first-served opportunity which is only open to residents located in the Federal Division of New England and the Gwydir Shire local government area. Priority will be given to the wind farm neighbours and residents of the Inverell and Glen Innes Shires. This investment opportunity will be open until the end of March 2019, and interested parties can register their interest or find our more on the Sapphire Wind Farm website.

Featured Grants and Funding Opportunities

Below are some featured grants and funding opportunities from around 75 open grants listed in the Grants and Funding Opportunities area of our website. Our website is updated weekly with new listings and updates and all are applicable to our region, so it is a great resource if you are looking for funding for a specific project.

You can also sign up to our Business and Infrastructure Funding Opportunities and the Community Grants and Award Programs newsletters through the simple form located on the left-hand side of our website: www.rdani.org.au, to receive monthly summaries of currently open grants.

Small Grants for Rural Communities
Closes: Various
Value: Up to $5,000
Run By: Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal

The Small Grants for Rural Communities is the longest running and broadest program FRRR offers, opening twice per year.

It is a great example of a collaborative program supported by various partners which has the flexibility to address issues that make a difference to the sustainability of rural, regional and remote communities.

Grants of up to $5,000 are available for projects and activities that offer clear public benefit for communities  in rural, regional or remote Australia. Priority is given to communities of 10,000 or fewer. Applicants must be not-for-profit community organisations with an ABN or incorporation certificate.

Google Ad Grants
Closes: Applications are ongoing
Value: Up to $10,000 per month
Run By: Google

Google Ad Grants is the non-profit edition of AdWords, Google's online advertising tool. Google Ad Grants empowers non-profit organisations, through $10,000 per month in in-kind AdWords™ advertising, to promote their missions and initiatives on Google search result pages.

Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme
Closes: 30th of June 2021 or when the $12 Million funding allocation is exhausted
Value: Up to $25,000 per farm enterprise
Run By: NSW Government Department of Primary Indsutries, Rural Assistance Authority

Eligible Primary Producers can claim a rebate of 25% of the cost of purchase, delivery and if applicable, the labour cost to engage a person to install water infrastructure for animal welfare needs.

The On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme can be applied to costs incurred from 1st July 2018 for new purchases, and installation of pipes, water storages and water pumps, de-silting dams, and associated power supplies such as generators.

Regional Employment Trials Program
Closing date: 30th of June 2020
Value: $7,500 to $200,000
Run By: Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business

The Northern Inland is one of only ten regions across Australia to be selected for the Regional Employment Trials Program. The Regional Employment Trials program provides local stakeholders in selected regions, including businesses, not-for-profits and local government agencies, with grants to trial local approaches to delivering employment related projects.

The objectives of the program are to deliver:

  • strong connections between regional stakeholders, including employment services providers
  • employment initiatives that meet local needs
  • improved awareness of local labour markets
  • the potential for improved regional employment outcomes

Grants are for between $7,500 and $200,000, for up to 75% of eligible project costs. Projects must be completed by 30 June 2020.

What's On in the Northern Inland

Seniors Festival
Wednesday 13th to Sunday 24th of February

Seniors Festival
Wednesday 13th to Sunday 24th of February

Goodspace Free Workshop in Suicide Prevention
Thursday 14th of February

Glen Innes Show
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th of February
Glen Innes

Can Assist Family Fishing and Fun Day
Saturday 16th February

Sunday 17th of February

Seniors Week Events
Monday 18th to Thursday 21st of February

Tractor Pull
Early February

Arty Crafty Armidale
Thursday 21st to Friday 22nd February

Guyra Show
Friday 22nd to Saturday 23rd of February

A Day With The Devils
Saturday 23rd of February

Guyra on a Plate
Saturday 23rd of February

Heritage Train Rides
Saturday 23rd to Sunday 24th of February
Armidale and Uralla

Australian Stock Horse Society National Show
Thursday 28th of February to Saturday 9th of March

Inverell Show
Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd of March

Quirindi Military Tattoo
Saturday 2nd of March

Welcome Party Bush Dance
Sunday 3rd of March

Living Better for Longer
Monday 4th of March

Bavarian Beer and Music Festival
Wednesday 6th to Sunday 10th of March

Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th of March
Glen Innes

Rotary District Conference
Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th of March

Barraba Show
Friday 8th of March

International Women’s Day
Friday 8th of March
Glen Innes

International Women’s Day
Friday 8th of March

Armidale Show
Friday 8th to Saturday 9th of March

Glenrock Gardens Open Garden
Saturday 9th to Sunday 10th of March

McMaugh Gardens Charity Bowls Day
Tuesday 12th March

Toughen Up Challenge
Friday 15th to Saturday 16th of March

Annual Gem and Craft Show
Saturday 16th to Sunday 17th of March

New England Festival
Saturday 16th of March

Armidale Motor Extravaganza
Sunday 17th of March

Nundle Country Picnic
Sunday 17th of March

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Armidale NSW 2350
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